Thursday, December 15, 2011

Come play with me

Wanna come play with me in 2012?? I'm going to be doing a post every week of the year on art journaling with a new background, technique, idea or prompt. (Yeah I KNOW! LOLS, however for me, next year is all about committment). So it's going to be perhaps a step by step, maybe a video, maybe a link or two to something cool. A learning experience and adventure in mixed media. I have set up a separate blog for it here. Would be appreciated if you could spread the word. The more the merrier and the code for the 52 PlayDATES button is at right.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Tropical dreams........

Another piece from a still life setup of orange lillies. I used a lot of artistic license here, as you can see, comparing it to the photo. It was fun to just use it as inspriation and I like the tropical feel of the finished painting.Getting to like this still life thing.....

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Still Life

I have never been very interested in painting still life. It is, after all ........STILL and  ummmmm.....boring?? LOL. However have recently been encouraged in a group I attend to expand my mind, drawing and painting skills by starting with a still life setup and working though the whole process to a finished painting. To my surprise I found it very satisfying and even fun! This is the result of my first ever effort at this exercise which I am actually pretty pleased with. Nice surprise and good reason to try something at least once! Now encouraged to do more......

How do you feel about still life? Have you ever worked from your own setup to a finished painting? Did you enjoy it or decided it wasn't for you?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Treasure Hunting..........

So I promised you a little about Public Domain, didn't I? As an artist, this is something you really NEED to know about - trust me! If you need to, Google the subject to find out all the finer details, however basically, Public Domain is material where the copyright has expired and is now the domain of guessed it! - the PUBLIC. So how does that help us artists? Well, if you do altered art of any kind and use ephemera, it's a virtual goldmine. Images and interesting text abound in the form of old paintings, old books, postcards, photographs, etc, etc. Just check out Etsy to see how popular these types of images are. There are even some instances where modern media can be Public Domain (NASA photos for example).

So, if you are into Vintage or Retro, all you need do is find, copy and use (like I did here). That simple! If your taste is more contemporary, there is still a wonderland of information and reference material, out there for free, which can be adapted to modern day tastes. If you didn't catch it, take a look at my previous post to see what I mean.

So here is a list of some places I have found to get you started. Some of these use Creative Commons license which is a variation of PD, where you need to credit the source. Please check these details for yourself before using. Also, please be a Share Bear and leave any links YOU find in the comments section.

So much to talk about on this subject, so more coming. Be sure to follow me here, on Facebook, Twitter (#jan_fox) or mailing list so you don't miss out!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Artist down......

I have been sick all week with the flu. Yuck! It's ages since I have had such a bad dose of the flu and I'm guessing I got it from the grandkids, as they have had it off and on all winter (remember I'm an Aussie!). So day 6 and I'm feeling a bit better and wanting to create. Don't want to get into the studio. Don't want to clean up paint, paper or glue. Don't feel like sketching...............ummmmmm, what's left? Aha - play with digital! Yes, I can stay all warm and cosied up with my laptop and do some creating - perfect!

I decided to use some copyright free public domain images I downloaded to play around with. The public domain is an awesome FREE resource if you are willing to spend some time looking (another subject and one I just might share soon, so keep tuned!). I had even managed to find some images of my favourite subject - dancers. Add some Photoshop and voila, I'm Dancing in Paris.......

I also managed to get an unexpected but (to me) very interesting silhouette image while playing with some of the settings. I really liked this one which did require a bit of cleanup along with some freehand additions but I think has a more contemporary feel. Trouble is I don't really know exactly how I did it! LOL One of those "press buttons until something happens" magical incidents that I would LIKE to repeat, but so far no joy.....

So do you have a favourite?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Lastest portrait. My little grandson Oliver............

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Grandma LOVE

Did I tell you that I'm a grandma again? Yes, my beautful daughter has presented me with another TWO grandbabies, making three gorgeous boys under 18 months! Ashton Mathew 7lb 6oz (right) and Jasper Christian 5lb 13oz arrived just over 6 weeks ago, so what else to do but paint their portraits? I decided my newest love - pastels would be just the thing to use for them and I'm pleased to say, it worked out well. I was happy and daughter loved it! I guess I may have to do another to ensure they both have one....LOL and also one for big brother Oliver.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Some of my recent artwork in the gallery at a newly opened local healing center.

The Journey

Another large 30 X 30 inch intuitive painting. This one had a very large heart which I tried and tried to hold on to but the composition just wasn't working. So, it had to go and VOILA, the whole painting came together then. Ha! Will I ever not be surprised by that? To me the heart energy is still there anyway, just not visible.  Unfortunately there is a bit of flare from the varnish as I forget to photograph before finishing.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Purrrrfect FUN

Been wanting to take pastel classes for a while now and finally managed to get to my first class this morning. Have played around with soft pastels a bit myself, but wanted to learn how to use them properly. Just finished my first piece - cat study in values. First time I have ever used pastel paper too. Really liking how forgiving this medium is!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Art LESSONS (or rather life lessons thru ART)

Still very inspired by my workshop with Flora Bowley. Apart from the many cool techniques I learned (such as using FINGERS - LOL. My new favourite tool, who knew??) the weekend expanded my confidence in tapping into the intuitive part of my myself that knows exactly what needs to go on that blank canvas. Her method involves much *letting go* of preconceived ideas of what things should look like and what I (or rather my EGO) thinks I want or *should* paint. I have the most difficulty with this as I don't like to let go! It feels scary and I start to worry, like most of us that I will just end up with a mess rather than something *worthwhile*.

However, although that is always going to be a possibility, it hasn't (in my opinion anyway - LOL) happened yet. Thus I am slowly learning to trust the process of letting the painting emerge without judgement and allowing the possibility that the outcome will be better than what I could have achieved through conscious planning and effort.

"PROUD" is my latest painting and my biggest lesson in trust yet. As I started to cover the canvas with color in a random way, I started to *see* peacock feathers. I LOVE peacock feathers - the colors, the fragility, the beauty.......{{{sigh}}}. I started to feel excited about painting these and was already anticipating a finished beautiful painting and deciding to paint in the image of the bird, as well as the feathers.

I painted a peacock. I knew it sucked! LOL I researched peacock pictures and tried again. It was WRONG. I changed the position, the stance and the angle. It still sucked! I felt frustrated and was fast losing interest in my painting. THEN I realized how I was trying to force it to happen instead of just trying to let go and allow the painting to emerge. I knew I needed to let go of my preconceived idea of painting a peacock, but I didn't want to! I had gotten really, really attached to the idea of a peacock painting. LOL

However, ultimately (and if I am honest, in frustrated surrender), I took a breath and my largest paintbrush and slapped random colors and strokes over the images I had just spent the last hours making. It actually felt better than I thought. It was kind of satisfying to obliterate the images and not keep trying to literally *bash my head against a brick wall* to make something work, when clearly it wasn't. However there was a part of me that also felt defeated. What now?

So I stepped back from the work and while looking at the mess in front of me, finally started to listen to my intuition. It was telling me to turn the canvas. It was on the second turn that I *saw* it. MY PEACOCK! The whole shape of his head and beak was just there, like magic! It felt as if he was laughing at me as he manifested in front of my eyes, and could almost hear him saying "of course, I'm here and I'm BIG and PROUD"!! And indeed he *was* so much larger than I had been trying to paint and in a totally different position on the canvas. The *perfect* position, in fact, to allow me to be guided to paint in the riot of feathers that have become his plumage. Once again I needed to let go my idea of what was a feather or not. None of the areas I had first seen as feathers ended up staying.

So I ended up with a peacock painting after all. Nothing like what I imagined when I first started, but so, so much better. I really love it and I love this process!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Flora's magic continues

At left is an *in progress* shot of my second canvas from the Bloom True workshop with Flora. Still tweaking, but amazed at how it has transformed from how it started last weekend (pic at right). I just wasn't feeling the flower at all.

Now "Cosmic Path" is feeling like an evolving, living, breathing prayer............

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Attended a most AWESOME workshop on the weekend (called Bloom True) with the wonderfully talented Ms Flora Bowley! Flora, who hails from Oregon USA is currently in Australia holding workshops to teach her uniquely *Flora* intuitive art technique. I can't believe this lady has only been teaching since September last year. She is just a totally natural and wonderful teacher, as well as an amazing artist. An incredible and rare combination which left me feeling amazing gratitude for the experience and TOTALLY INSPIRED. I want to paint like Flora! LOL I laugh because I have so heard that statement over the years from my own students and know it's IMPOSSIBLE and not even desirable to be a Flora (or anyone's) clone.... {{{Giggle}}}

So,  did I come close on the weekend? Well......NO...... . I did not capture her colorful abstract, simplified shapes and graphic style nor her windows of yumminess that so enchant me, but I certainly did tap into my own intuitive style of painting.  I WAS able to learn and use a whole toolbox full of new techniques and am very happy with what I produced. However I am still going to try and absorb a little more of Flora and continue to practice her technique of simplifying chaos (as she describes it). I am NOT all that good at simple, nor at letting go - which is another of her key elements. She is incredibly good at letting go of any or all elements of her paintings at any stage by simply painting over them. Non attachment to what is, in order to gain something even better than what was. A great philosophy on life too, don't you think?

This is the piece I finished (we worked on two). It's LARGE - 30" X 30" and was a challenge for me after not painting at an easel for 6 months since that shoulder thing. I will share the next one when it's finished - NOT looking good at the moment but promise I will take progressive pics anyway!

Flora's piece in the painting stage (above) and finished at right.

Thanks Flora! Thanks girls! It was an amazing and enjoyable weekend that I would repeat in a heartbeat. Stay posted for more of my Bloom True adventures, but in the interim, hope you enjoy some of my pics from the weekend

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Water Soul

The Strathmore workshop I mentioned in the last post has really helped kick me out of the artist's block I have experienced since breaking my shoulder 4 months ago. Now I can handle small pieces again, I am loving creating A4 size pieces, although I am not really following the workshop instructions. LOL I do love Pam's work, but my own style just gets in the way. First pic is how I started the piece with some collage pieces, mainly my own work recycled, but some eyes and mouth cut from a magazine. Second pic shows the finished piece.

Monday, January 3, 2011

FREE Art Journaling workshops

For anyone interested in ART JOURNALING, Strathmore is running FREE online workshops which have just started. The current one is with Pam Carriker. Go here to sign up

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Well it's indeed Happy New Year for me, as after over 3 months of pain and rehab, I am finally able to paint again. Yahhhhhh!!!! Still have a ways to go with physio twice a week for a while yet, BUT I have enough movement and strength to do some art, so I'm happy, happy, happy.......

This is a piece I did today called *Feather in My Cap* and is my vision for 2011 piece. Painted and collaged from pieces of original artwork of mine with art journal techniques used to pull it all together. 

And the original b/w sketch at right is how the girl started out before I added color/paint to her